Panaji: Eyeing the projected 15% growth in the luxury car market segment, DailmerChrysler India Pvt Ltd, makers of Mercedes-Benz cars, has decided to set up a new plant in Pune to enhance its manufacturing capacity.
“We want to participate in this growth and hence have decided to add up to the existing capacity and so an additional plant is being set up at existing facility at Pimpri in Pune,” DailmerChrysler Director (Corporate Affairs) Suhas Kadlaskar said.
Currently, in Goa to participate in the ‘The India Trail’ of Mercedes-Benz, Kadlaskar said additional 1,000 unit per shift capacity would be added to existing 4,000 unit per shift.
Mercedes-Benz has started the India trail, which will cover cumulative 40,000 kms covering Pune, Goa, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmadnagar, Udaipur, Jaipur and Delhi.
Quoting projected growth, Kadlaskar said automotive market will grow by 10% while luxury car segment will grow by 15% in near future.
He conceded that Mercedes-Benz’s market share has dipped from the previous level of 90% after the entry of BMW this year.
“This year, we are 50% and will remain stable at this level,” Kadlaskar said.
“Mercedes-Benz market saw unprecedented growth since 2005 when it grew by 5.5% over previous year. The year 2006 saw 11% growth while till August 2007, the growth was 22%,” he added.
The company has also announced its plans to enter the commercial vehicle segment by launching buses early next year.
“We have inked an agreement with Punjab-based Satlaj Motors who will provide us the bus bodies to be mounted on the chassis manufactured in Pune plant,” Kadlaskar said.
“After success of the car, we think there is a good potential for high-tech passenger buses,” he stated.
He said the buses, besides plying on highways, will also target hospitality industry to ply the tourists.